HAVE WE LOST OUR WAY?

Yonaton Behar,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Yonaton Behar
Yonaton is happily married with 6 children, and 9 grandchildren, and lives in the most amazing Torah community in the world - Har Bracha.
Have We Lost Our Way?

No, ladies and gentlemen, this post, believe it or not, has nothing to do with the coronavirus. The question 'have we lost our way' is directed at something much deeper, and more fundamental.

In my humble opinion, I believe it's time, we, the Jewish nation, took a moment out to ponder our past, our present, and our future.

What are we doing here in the Land of Israel? What is our purpose in this world as Jews? What does God want from us?

Many years ago, God, the Creator of the entire world and everything in it, chose a man, Abraham, and commanded him to leave his family and place of birth, and make his home in the Land of Israel. Faithful to God, Abraham immediately made aliyah. Due to his deep faith in God, and after having passed a number of trials, God made a promise to the first Jew, Abraham our Forefather. He would see to it his descendants inherited a special portion of the earth -- the Land of Israel -- which God had specifically chosen for them. A land where the climate was just right for them to grow at their best -- both spiritually, and materially.

God reiterated His promise to Abraham's son, Isaac, his grandson, Jacob, and all of Jacob's offspring. For reasons known only to God, Jacob's children were forced to descend down to Egypt. There, within a few generations, they quickly grew from 70, into a nation of over two million people.

Now God, in His everlasting kindness and love for His chosen son's and daughter's (and all the while, remembering His promise) -- miraculously took us out of Egypt and forty-nine days later, brought us to Mount Sinai. There, He gave us a book of instructions, the Torah, teaching us how to live our lives properly, and by doing so as a nation, act as an example for the entire world how to live a good, blessed, rewarding, and fulfilling life. Oh, by the way, in His love for us, He also gave us 'bechirat chofshit - freedom of choice - to chose good by following His instructions, or the opposite. He also gave us a tip - to chose good!

Now, ladies and gentlemen, we didn't receive this "handbook" of great advice and suggestions from some New-Age guru, but rather, from the "guru" of all guru's, the God of all gods -- the Creator of Heaven and Earth and everything in it! Who would not listen??

Now this in itself, receiving the Torah of Life from the Creator of Life, could have been the end of a great story. But no! God still had to fulfill His promise! But unlike our present-day politicians who make promises, but don't promise to keep their promises -- when God makes a promise, you can take it to the bank!

Okay. We're on our way to Israel. So God, being God, could have made things a little easier for us, and organized things that nobody would be living in the Land of Israel at the time, thus, sparing us the need to conquer it. Ouch!

But God had other plans. Go argue with God!

So when our teacher and leader, Moses, passed away on the other side of the Jordan River, his trustworthy disciple, Joshua, took command. Now, before entering the Promised Land, he sent an "SMS" to the inhabitants, announcing that, by command of the God of Israel, we were comin' in! Quite graciously, Joshua gave the people three decent options:

Make peace, flee, or go to war.

But wait a minute. GO TO WAR??? You mean, we have to put our lives on the line for a "place under the sun"??? Didn't we just get a playbook on how to LIVE, and not DIE??? Now you want us to go to war for a piece of land???

Nah! For sure, God will pull another miracle for us like he did at the Red Sea! He'll definitely send a virus to kill them all off, or even better, turn our enimies into "partners for peace"!

Sorry. God did not intend us to rely on miracles. We had to fight for our Land.

And so it goes, ladies and gentlemen. Until this very day, we must still fight for our one and only homeland.

Okay. I have a proposal. I suggest that just like in the times of Joshua, we, the Jewish nation, make a similar offer to the Arabs presently residing here in our Promised Land:

If you desire to remain here with us in our homeland, thus enjoying the blessings God has bestowed, and continues to bestow, upon us -- the sons and daughters of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, the Prophet Samuel, King David, King Solomon, et al, -- the decision is yours. You can decide to:

1) Either live peacefully with us, i.e., receive full individual rights, as we are commanded by halakha to give to righteous Gentiles living in Eretz Yisrael, but not national rights;

2) Immigrate to another country;

or

3) Let's fight it out.

This, ladies and gentlemen, in a nutshell, is our eternal, national path here in Eretz Yisrael -- whether we like it, or not. As our wise and holy Sages informed us:

God gave the Jewish nation three precious gifts, but they can only be obtained through trials and tribulations: Torah, the Land of Israel, and the World to Come.

This is our destiny, and this is our path. I hope and pray we have not lost our way.